Cerebrovascular burden (CVB) is a significant factor among the aging population. Age-related cognitive decline is an important social and economic issue, and understanding the mechanisms has clinical implications, both in selecting potential therapies and in choosing specific modifiers for their evaluation. In summary, past work suggests that high CVB is one source of variance in neurovascular functioning among older adults. High CVB and associated brain-changes have been identified as causes of age-related changes and it may be that high CVB is a correlate of age-related changes in sleep quality. The primary hypothesis to be tested is that cerebrovascular burden measured using an index variable reflecting blood pressure, resting heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation, will predict subjective sleep quality in a sample of adults over age 70. Sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. A sample of 8 dementia-free, community dwelling participants over the age of 70 completed the study. Though individual cerebrovascular risk factors (blood pressure, resting heart rate) had moderate but non-significant correlations with sleep quality, only the CVB index variable significantly related (1-tailed) to sleep quality. Findings support the hypothesized relationship. Future research should seek to replicate these findings with a larger sample, and to identify mechanisms by which this relationship may function.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Orlando (Main) Campus
Mapp, Chelsea Tia, "The Effects of Cerebrovascular Aging on Sleep Quality in a Sample of Aging Adults" (2016). Honors in the Major Theses. 65.